ATC Issues & Procedures

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The National Airspace System (NAS) is continuously being updated and changed in order to improve system efficiency.  NBAA supports the continued transition to a future aviation system that is satellite-based rather than today’s ground-based navigation system, and will continue to play an active role representing the needs of general aviation in the technical and regulatory evolution of a Next Generation (NextGen) aviation system.

In addition to these changes, there are certain areas of the NAS where special attention is warranted and where special procedures are required due to persistent traffic volume issues, seasonal increases in volume, or other factors.

  • NOTAM Realignment

    NOTAM Realignment

    The FAA is modernizing the NOTAM system to improve the quality of NOTAMs, provide enhanced filtering and sorting of data, and to conform with ICAO standards. NOTAM Realignment is one of the first steps toward the FAA’s NextGen system.

  • Flight Plan Filing

    Flight Plan Filing

    In order to take full advantage of RNAV equipment and procedures, operators need to properly file an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) flight plan even for U.S. domestic flights. This will allow the automatic assignment of RNAV Standard Instrument Departures (SID), Standard Terminal Arrivals (STAR) and preferential routes.

  • New York Metro Airspace Overview

    New York Metro Airspace Overview

    The airspace in and around the New York City metro area is the most congested and complex airspace in the NAS. Learn more the area airports, common departure and arrival issues, and the route issues encountered in the New York metro airspace.

  • Wind Routes

    Wind Routes

    In April 2010, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a new set of routes for traffic headed from the Western United States into the New York City metro area that could be used by air traffic control (ATC).

  • Winter Snowbird Traffic and VACAPES Airspace

    Winter Snowbird Traffic and VACAPES Airspace

    During certain times of the year, particularly during the winter, seasonal traffic between the northeastern US and Florida increases dramatically. Offshore radar routes, and in some cases the Virginia Capes Operating Area (VACAPES), can be used to reduce congestion.

  • Communications with Air Traffic Control

    Communications with Air Traffic Control

    Clear concise communication between flight crews and air traffic controllers is absolutely essential. Learn about requirements and best practices for communications with ATC.

  • Ski Country Special Traffic Management Program

    Rocky Mountain Area Special Traffic Management Program

    The Rocky Mountain Area STMP is run annually from mid-December until early January, and again during Presidents Day weekend in February, to control the IFR arrival rates into Aspen-Pitkin County/Sardy Field (ASE), Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) and Rifle/Garfield County Field Airport (RIL).


E-STMP is Gone, But Winter Demand at Colorado Airports Remains
Nov. 18, 2013
This year, the FAA is not utilizing the electronic special traffic management program the agency did have in place at three Colorado airports, but NBAA air traffic specialists warn that decision will not mitigate demand at those popular destinations. After consultations with NBAA, FAA instead opted to use a ground-delay program to manage traffic at ASE, EGE and RIL during the 2013-14 winter season. "This is something controllers and air crews are used to seeing," according to Dean Snell, assistant manager of NBAA's Air Traffic Services. "It's much more efficient, but there will still be delays because demand still outpaces capacity." Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on flying to Colorado this winter.
FAA Releases Holiday Traffic Management Details for Colorado Airports
Nov. 18, 2013
In preparation for the upcoming 2013–2014 holiday season, the FAA has released a notice outlining plans for managing air traffic in and out of three Colorado airports: Aspen-Pitkin County (ASE), Eagle County Regional (EGE) and Rifle/Garfield County (RIL). This season, the FAA will not be using an air traffic slot reservation program (managed through the e-STMP system); instead, the agency will implement a variety of initiatives, including ground delay programs (GDPs), miles-in-trail, required routes and ground stops. Review the FAA notice and additional details on NBAA's winter holidays web page.
NBAA Actively Involved in NOTAM Evolution
Sept. 20, 2013
As part of its ongoing improvement efforts, the FAA will introduce a revised format and contractions in its Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) on Oct. 1. More improvements are on the way, said Bob Lamond, Jr., NBAA's director of air traffic services and infrastructure who is a member of the RTCA Tactical Operations Committee working group dedicated to evaluating the current system and recommending improvements that efficiently communicate pertinent NOTAM information to pilots. Describing the effort as a "work in progress," the upcoming changes will harmonize the U.S. system with the International Civil Aviation Organization standards. Read more about the improvements to NOTAMs.
NBAA Gets Quick FAA Action on Troublesome NOTAM Website Disclaimers
August 19, 2013
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has responded quickly and positively to a request from the NBAA Access Committee to remove a restrictive disclaimer from certain government websites used by pilots and others to search for notices to airmen (NOTAMs) and other aeronautical information. The current language has not only warned visitors that the sites are not considered official sources, but also raised concerns that third-party sources commonly used by NBAA Members to retrieve NOTAMs might not be considered compliant with Part 91. The FAA said the disclaimers will be modified on Aug. 22 to legally allow for the use of the information contained on the websites. Learn more about the coming changes.
Outdated Code Used in Electronic Approach Charts for ASH, CRQ and LIU
June 21, 2013
Jeppesen NavData for cycle 1307, effective June 27, contains outdated procedure coding at the following locations: Boire Field, NH (ASH), Mc Clellan-Palomar, CA (CRQ) and Littlefield Mun, TX (LIU). Multiple changes have been made to the procedures that Jeppesen did not revise for cycle 1307. Revised coding will appear in Jeppesen NavData for cycle 1308, effective July 25. Until then, an entry will appear in the NavData Change Notices beginning June 28.

Review the Jeppesen alert, which contains a list of all affected procedures. (PDF)
FAA Expands Size of Protected Airspace for Circling Approaches
May 27, 2013
For almost 20 years, the aviation industry has expressed to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) its concern about the amount of airspace surrounding airports dedicated to circling approaches. Now, the FAA has started expanding the protected airspace used for such approaches in an effort to give larger, faster aircraft more stability upon landing. Listen to this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast for more on the FAA’s decision to increase the area of protected airspace devoted to circling approaches.
FAA Changes Wake Turbulence Separation Minima for Certain Parallel Runway Operations
May 10, 2013
Since 2006 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been working to develop a safe wake mitigation procedure that allows reduced wake turbulence separation during certain operations from closely-spaced parallel runways. Comprehensive analysis of wake turbulence has shown that sufficient crosswinds on parallel runways can allow for the elimination of departure wake separation minima. Starting Wednesday, May 15, the FAA will roll out a one-year demonstration of the Wake Turbulence Mitigation for Departures (WTMD) system at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), followed by Houston International (IAH) on May 20 and then Memphis International (MEM) in August. Winds must be favorable to the runway configuration and visual meteorological conditions must prevail in order for WTMD to be enabled. WTMD use will be broadcast over the ATIS, and pilots will have the option to request longer separation times if needed. Pilots operating at these demonstration airports should familiarize themselves with InFO 13006 as well as WTMD operations. Additional information on WTMD can be found in FAA Order JO 7110.316.
Pilots Need to Prepare for Procedural Changes on Standard Instrument Departures
June 25, 2012
Changes are on the horizon that will affect pilots flying instrument departures and arrivals. Following years of discussion, the new "Climb Via" instruction for standard instrument departures (SIDs) is scheduled to go live on Aug. 15. It mirrors the similar "Descend Via" instruction already being issued for standard terminal arrival route procedures. Learn More.